Un-American U.S. Soccer Team Booted From World Cup

Sweden beat the United States 5-4 on penalties to knock the defending champions out of the Women’s World Cup after the teams were locked at 0-0 at the end of extra time on Sunday.

The team had drawn the ire of fans for disrespecting the national anthem throughout the tournament. While players from other countries honored their anthems, the U.S. women smacked chewing gum, smirked and slouched. Some refused to place their hands over their hearts. Even the coaches were silent.

Their behavior disgusted fans.

“Why would we root for a team that has such disdain for the country they’re supposed to be representing,” one fan wrote in a letter to the New York Post. “I used to LOVE watching them play as they were amazing to watch. They have become one of the most unlikable teams in the history of American sports.”

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“The irony is that the country they appear to hate is the same country that allows them to act like a bunch of spoiled kids,” another ex-fan said.

Megyn Kelly, the famed digital broadcaster, blamed Megan Rapinoe.

“Megan Rapinoe, she’s the leader of all this… She’s not a starter. So that’s why she’s not on camera when they’re doing the national anthem, but she’s behind a lot of this,” she said in a recent broadcast.

Rapinoe, who will retire after this World Cup, said in 2019 that she would “never put my hand over my heart” and “probably never sing the national anthem again.”

“She’s poisoned the entire team against the country for which they play. I don’t know about you, but I’m not rooting for them. I’m not with them. I hope they lose…It’s shameful. These girls are shameful. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

It was the first exit before the semi-finals in nine World Cups for the Americans, who had arrived at the tournament looking for an unprecedented third consecutive title.

U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said the team had been practicing penalties for the last nine months.

“I know we were criticized for the way we played … I think we came out today and were all about the grit, the resilience,” he said.

“Unfortunately, soccer can be cruel sometimes. For it to go to penalties and to end in that fashion, with the confusion at the end.”

Winners of the last two World Cups in France and Canada, the U.S. slumped to their quickest exit, having made the semi-finals or better in all eight previous editions.

From Reuters